Steven Richardson, Maths teacher
"At Edith Cowan University (Perth, Western Australia) we have been using Bolster Academy to administer all non-invigilated assessment in our first and second year calculus/linear algebra units since 2017. As a lecturer I have really enjoyed the flexibility that Bolster Academy offers to tailor exercises and content to best meet our needs.
I am able to copy and edit existing Bolster Academy exercises, author my own exercises, and link those exercises to theory pages. Bolster Academy has been well received by our students, and we have received positive feedback on how it has helped to direct students’ study, motivate students to practice, and provide feedback to help students identify weaknesses and misunderstandings.
I have also found the Bolster Academy team to be very good to work with as they are very receptive to feedback and suggestions, and are quick to respond to any issues that arise.”
Alice Devillers, Maths teacher
"As a lecturer and mathematician, I really like using Bolster Academy. It is much more customisable than the previous assessment systems I have used. I can easily copy questions and modify them slightly to suit my needs (creating questions from scratch is a bit more difficult but doable too). The interface to do the admin (setting assignments, downloading marks etc) is very user friendly. The main advantage, I find, of Bolster Academy, is the customer service: if I have any question they answer very quickly, fix bugs in exercises within 24 hours, etc. This is because the people answering my queries are mathematicians who understand what I am talking about, rather than just salespeople (as was my experience previously with other systems).”
Anne Eastaugh, Maths teacher
"This semester we began using Bolster Academy for our first-year level mathematics unit at Monash University. The feedback that we have had from students has been overwhelmingly positive. The students are easily able to manoeuvre through the theory pages and exercises, and the motivation in support classes has become more dynamic and engaging.
As a teacher, I have found the course materials well structured, and convenient to use. Adding extra material to either the theory pages or the exercises has been straightforward to implement. There are many prewritten exercises that can be easily modified if necessary, and these have also acted as a template for further exercises we have written.
The Bolster Academy staff are generous with their time and have provided me with detailed responses to all of my queries. The continual support that they have offered throughout this semester has allowed the transition from standard lecture notes to the Bolster Academy platform to be smooth and comfortable for students and staff.”
Monos Naidoo, Maths teacher
"The usefulness of the Bolster Academy platform to provide ‘tailored’ interventions prompted its use in a pilot project in 2014 and subsequent adoption into the teaching and learning strategy in subsequent years.
Students at able to work at their own pace, catch up with the rest of the class in areas where they are weaker or to work ahead if they find they are confident enough.
In the 5 years that Bolster Academy has been part of the strategy of the Foundation Program we have seen results steadily improve from an initial pass rate of 58% prior to its adoption to a pass rate of 87% in the last year, 2018.”
Luuk Hoevenaars, Maths teacher
"Using Bolster Academy allows me as a teacher to get detailed insights into student progression ‘in the blink of an eye’. As a teacher, you are able to see the progress of an individual student or a group of students, which is very convenient. This allows me to see whether a student or a subject requires special attention in my classes.
The forum is very useful because I am able to see which students have questions, what subject or exercise the question is about and what the actual student input was on that exercise. This allows me to give feedback fast and with highly targeted.
It is from an exceptional value that the system uses Maxima, Maxima is a good computer algebra system. This system generates automated feedback, which teachers use to anticipate mistakes made by students while trusting that the system never accepts an incorrect answer as a correct one.
I can see that the Bolster Academy system motivates my students. They keep practising until all answers are ‘green’!”
Merlijn Kamps, Maths teacher
"Bolster Academy is perceived by our students as very accessible and nice to use since mistakes aren’t as over exaggerated as they used to.
The system provides students with feedback and advises on how to improve their answer attempts. If a student really doesn’t understand the material, then he or she will be provided with a concise but complete step-by-step worked out solution.
The Bolster Academy system gives students a lot of help and guidance making sure they don’t get stuck, hence, allowing me to focus on students that really need my attention! The test results of first years usage were excellent!”
Rob van Loevezijn, Maths teacher, engineering
"Since 2015, Zuyd University of applied sciences has a pleasant and constructive experience working with the online courses of Bolster Academy.
The primary reason for this long-lasting collaboration is because Bolster Academy has a great customer service. the response time is quick to different types of difficult questions that arise from using the system.
Furthermore, the creation of content is very good and fits well with our target audience. As a teacher, I experience using Bolster Academy as an added value, because of the automated personalised feedback and the ease of using the Bolster Academy system.
Altogether, the Bolster Academy platform is a nice up-to-date piece of equipment for mathematical education.”
Maik Beuken, teacher maths and statistics, Faculty of financial management
”“In my search to find new groundbreaking digital educational tools, I came across Bolster Academy. They provide me with a personalised solution for both my maths and statistics courses. Thanks to Bolster Academy, I was able to digitise all the explanations, exercises, and even tests.
My students indicate that they appreciate the digitalisation of my courses. Today’s generation of students is used to instant feedback, which they now receive directly after solving an exercise in Bolster Academy.
Bolster Academy’s customer service is very approachable, which makes our collaboration run smoothly. I always get a quick response whenever I have any question or remark.”
Jana Vyrastekova, Maths teacher
"Mathematics is a language one has to be able to practice –and Bolster Academy allows students to do that in an approachable way: at their own terms. Each student can choose when and how much to practice. The immediate feedback motivates them and points towards areas that need more attention.
Our students using Bolster Academy for course work expressed this opinion in many ways: it may be at some times tedious to type in answers into a computer-assisted learning system rather than scribble answers on a paper, but the fact that any answer turns immediately into a correct or incorrect one has a high value-added.
Indeed, most students replied in a survey that this value exceeds the time investment needed to learn how to use Bolster Academy.
As a teacher, I appreciated most that Bolster Academy is flexible and we could adjust the Bolster Academy material (text and questions) to the level and requirements of our teaching program. The databases of questions we developed on Bolster Academy now serve both for formative and for summative testing and align with the learning objectives of the follow-up courses where our students need to use mathematics.”
Fleur Zeldenrust, Maths teacher
"By using Bolster Academy during the basic mathematics course for biology students, I can better deal with the different levels between students. Students with a lot of background knowledge can quickly go through the material and show by means of tests that they have mastery of the material, while students with less basic knowledge have the opportunity to practice almost endlessly because the assignments keep randomising themselves with new variables.
The back engine of Bolster Academy is flexible so that you can enrich base material well with subject-specific applications. The integration with GeoGebra and LaTeX also helps with this.
The interaction with the helpdesk company is quick and pleasant, any problems are solved quickly. In short, a pleasant experience for teachers and students, resulting in an educational prize for (among others) this course!”
Christiaan Boudri, Maths teacher
"Bolster Academy is developing its material in close connection to the user. Students find the assignments being presented attractively. Most of all, using the platform we can successfully stimulate students to make their homework.”
Evgenia Papoula, Maths teacher
"We are using Bolster Academy as a replacement to our paper-based Maths Entrance exam. Transferring our paper-based Maths exam to Bolster Academy has decreased the workload for creating new maths exams, and marking as there is automatic grading. It has also made our maths exams more secure, as the exercises are different for each student that takes the test. The platform is very user-friendly for teachers and students alike.
As a teacher, you have the possibility to create and modify the text students read, create different classes and student groups, and assign theory, exercises and exams to each group/class separately.
Students also get the chance of practising with the virtual keyboard before they sit the exam. As a teacher, you have the possibility of changing the settings of the exam, such as how many times students are allowed to take the exam, the time allowed, and release of grades. Overall, we are very happy as a team with the way everything is set up and our collaboration with the Bolster Academy team!”
Michael P. McAssey, Maths teacher
"We are now using the Bolster Academy platform in our Basic Research Methods and Statistics course for the third consecutive semester. We received excellent and speedy support from the Bolster Academy staff to help us set up the course so that it matches our learning objectives and provides almost weekly assessments so that we can keep our students motivated to work on learning activities. The weekly assessments are graded automatically by Bolster Academy, and each student receives a customized version of the exercises so that copying is discouraged.
The students enjoy the online platform and appreciate that they can use this platform instead of having to purchase an overpriced textbook. They can work through examples and practise exercises and get feedback on their answers, and we also have set up the assessments so that they have a chance to correct errors before submitting their work.
The platform allows teachers considerable flexibility to customize the course to their preferences. We have observed a greater success rate in our course since we began using the Bolster Academy platform, and now that it is completely set-up for us we have much less administrative work to perform so that we can focus more on our teaching activities.” "
Paula Beukers, Educational developer, Faculty of Science and Engineering
“We are happy with the Bolster Academy platform; it is always accessible, students are able to practice more and are provided with personalised feedback while doing so. With the help of the Bolster Academy platform, we aim to improve the quality of the contact hours by letting students independently practice basic skills exercises and by providing more in-depth lectures.
We experience collaboration with Bolster Academy as a company very positive; the communication is clear and efficient.”